One of the biggest players in the long-term agenda to demoralize teachers and defund, dismantle and privatize public education in Tennessee is the Professional Educators of Tennessee, or PET, which might come as a shock to some of their members. After all, PET bills itself as an innocuous member-run business: a “non-union, professional educators’ organization” that “offers a premium package of benefits including exceptional legal protection and liability coverage.”
But the truth is something very different.
In the past, organizations like PET would have been called “yellow unions”: organizations that claim to represent the interests of workers while actually advancing the company’s agenda. PET is just one example of a growing number of public sector yellow unions that are spreading across the United States. This is important because, typically, the greatest fightback to the corporate takeover of public schools has come from teachers who are organized in their schools, in their communities, and at the ballot box. Not only do these so-called “independent teachers associations” share deep institutional and ideological connections with the corporate education reform movement, but by dividing teachers in the schools and siphoning resources away from teacher unions, they are intentionally undermining the largest and most politically organized opposition to the corporate reformers and their privatization agenda.
This website is dedicated to exposing PET for the yellow union that it is. If teachers are going to be successful in fending off the organized attacks against their profession and against public schools, then they need to know who they can trust – and who they can’t.
The best place to start is in the tabs at the top of this page, entitled “Collective Bargaining” and “Privatization.” The “Resources” tab is provided so that advocates of public education and public school teachers can download informational materials to hand out to their friends, family, neighbors and colleagues.
Lastly, as made clear in the “About” tab, this website is a completely independent and volunteer project of a Tennessee labor activist and public school advocate. All materials, opinions, and content contained herein have been created voluntarily and freely for one purpose: to educate and inform the public about the devastating role that yellow unions like PET have had on their members and the public schools of Tennessee. Please, feel free to share this site and the materials herein, comment on the pages and posts.
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